Thursday, April 17, 2014

Scallops with vegetable purées and infused foam

A long and descriptive title for a really easy recipe. Scallops are always a success and this recipe is an idea on how to present them with delicious details.

Beautiful picture by Alex

First, you need to make the infusion for the foam. In a saucepan, add 200ml of cream with around 60g of raw peeled ginger and 4 pieces of lemon skin. Let it infuse at low heat during the preparation of the dish.

Then prepare the purées. You can make only one but I chose to have 2 different one underneath the scallops: Parsnip & Turnip. These two vegetables have a very nice lemon-like taste that combines perfectly with the scallops. Just peel the vegetables, cut them in small parts and toss them all together in salted boiling water until they are fork-tender. Then, mix them separately with 5ml of the water they cooked in and 5 ml of cream. Leave it to rest in bowls while you cook the scallops.

For the scallops, first season them salt & pepper, then heat up butter in a pan at high heat and place each scallops clockwise so you know which one were the firsts to be placed. Leave it for 30 seconds (more if you want a thicker crust) and turn them.

Take the infusion out and filter it so you just end up with the infused cream in another saucepan (big enough to let the foam expand). Take a hand-mixer and mix the cream: as you move the mixer around allowing air to mix with the cream, it will start creating a beautiful foam that keeps the entire taste of the infused cream. Make three small lots of purée in the plates, I made two parsnips and one turnip. Place the scallops on top of the lots and add the foam around.

For a detailed presentation: add a thin slice of radish on the side of the scallops, onion grows on top and few grows of cabbage on the foam. 

Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Chicken Roulade

Another nice, easy but elegant recipe.

Roulade basically means "roll" in french. The purpose of this dish is to have very juicy pieces of chicken with a nice crispy skin around them without roasting anything. The first step is simple: buy one chicken. No, not alive. Well at least mine was a classic supermarket chicken...

The first thing to do is to skin the chicken. The skin is very important for this dish and you have to take it off the chicken as intact as possible. If you don't know how to do it, I recommend watching youtube videos on it or if you want me to make a video of "how to skin a chicken", let me know in the comments!

When you have your skin, just let it rest on the side. Now, remove the 2 breasts and clean them. I recommend taking off the wish bone first to make it easier. Once again, if you want a video I'll show that too.

Lay down the skin on plastic film and place the filet on the skin on top of each other. Roll the skin around the filets and then roll the plastic film around the Roulade as tight as possible. Seal the two sides with string and now it is sous-vide. You should have something like that:

As the 2 breasts will stay apart, you can just dust Activa on the skin and breast if you find some. This powder creates a fusion between the proteins: the 2 breasts will become one as they cook.

Put the roulade sous-vide in water at 65°c for one hour. After that, remove the roulade from the water and take it off the plastic film. If you have a fryer, just drop it in a very hot oil for few minutes until the skin is crispy. If you're like me and don't have a fryer, just heat up olive oil in a pan and place the roulade. Turn it often until the entire skin is crispy with a nice golden color.

Then let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing it. 

I served mine with leek, but I should have also done a purée (sweet potatoe I think). I roasted the rest of the chicken while cooking the roulade so I used the juice from the roasted chicken as a sauce in this dish.

Enjoy! :)

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Simple Scramble Eggs

This is Saturday and let's not lie here, there is a big chance that you are going to drink heavily tonight. And like everyone, you are going to have the usual Sunday hangover crave! I have the prefect 10 minutes recipe for you.

For two persons, mix in a bowl:

  • 4 to 6 eggs
  • A big spoon of crème fraîche
  • Pinch of salt & pepper
Put olive oil in a hot pan and add the mix. The secret of perfect scramble eggs now is to leave 10 seconds the eggs over the heat and to take it off the heat everytime you give it a mix then put it back again for 10 seconds. And you repeat these 2 steps until you reach the texture you want. Just add chive when serving.

If you are really hangover, I suggest adding bacon on your toast too. Cook first the bacon and then follow the recipe using the same pan. It will add the saltiness of the bacon in the scramble eggs, making them even better.

You will feel a lot better after that! ;-)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Stilton soufflé

The first time a made a cheese soufflé, it was to impress some friends with my cooking skills. I have to say it was a COMPLETE failure... indeed they rose, but the second I took it out of the oven, they fell and became cheese pancakes. The taste was absolutely there, but heck, it wasn´t that impressive to say the least.
But today! you can impress your own friends with an easy peasy stilton cheesy soufflé! Follow the steps, and you´ll be one step closer to someones heart.
But to get there, you have to let some steam out and be aggressive with the whisk! calmness and pride is your prize ;)

serves 2 in medium ramekins
0) put you ramekins in the fridge
1) melt 30g of butter
2) add 30g of flour and mix well
3) add 55g of milk
4) take it off the heat and add 2 egg yolks and a teaspoon of mustard
5) add 55g of stilton cheese, mix until incorporated and leave to rest
6) whip the egg-whites until you can hold the bowl up side down without it moving or falling
7) incorporate 1/3 of the foam and mix aggressively
8) gently fold in the rest, preserve the airiness
9) take the ramekins out, and brush it with soft butter upwards. The butter should stick and freeze.
10) fill the ramekins by 1/3, tap it against the counter to eliminate "large" bubbles
11) fill the ramekins to the edge
12) set it into a preheated oven 220-225 for 10-12 min

To eat with simple or adventurous salads. I found it ridiculously good with a orange dressing for the salad, the acidity broke the fat and cleansed the palate. Healthy and comforting, Enjoy!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Bread and sourdough!

To be honest, I have never been the baker. I´ve worked at a bakery, and seen how bakers work long nights, fuck up their breads by forgetting ingredients, but still manage to redo everything and finish up after a 12 hour shift. Unfortunately, good, cheap and tasteful bread is really hard to come by. And being the man that I am, I wanted to challenge that by making my own.
6 months ago, I wanted to create a sourdough starter. Searching on the web, you find all kinds of recipes for starters telling you to mix several ingredients and making it a 100% hydrated. I tried once with the regular bread flour, it didn´t work out that great. Then I tried mixing several flours and added salt, the salt killed the sourdough bacterias (not a good idea). At that time, the adventure ended and I actually quit for while.
During christmas, I had a lot of good bread! the upside of family dinners and restaurants amongst other things of course... therefor I set out on a new sourdough journey after new years. This time using 75g ecological wheat flour (bought at sunkost) and 25g "ecological sammalt hvete" mixing it with 68g of tempered water in a plastic container with plastic film on top to keep moisture. Getting rid of half and feeding it with the same initial amount every day for the first week was easy! Stored in my heated bathroom to accelerate the process, bubbles started to show! I took the water test, and the sourdough floated! Boom, I was finally ready to bake bread. It was DELISH. From now on, I only need to keep the sourdough alive with 1/4 of the feeding amount respecting the ratios every 48 hours or so... If you want to use the starter, double the "initial feeding amount", leave it for 12 hours and its going to be quite bubbly I tell you. A bread now cost me 16 Nok instead of 50, the amount it costs for a good sourdough bread in town.
Dear I say that it tastes better? yes, because I baked it, and it looks awesome! But I guess that´s a normal reaction...
PS: storing sourdough in the bathroom, a way to a womans heart? try to find another warm place to store it, not the most popular thing I´ve done ;)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Mayonnaise heaven

It´s been a while since last post! but with a new year comes new possibilities and new posts. During christmas and new years, I have come to experience several family traditions! and with those traditions, peoples thoughts around food. I find it incredible that people think its a hassle to make good healthy food. Some even don´t think about what it does with life! As a student and foodie, I like finding new, cheaper and healthier ways of making my own daily necessities. Therefor, my first posts will be about simple things that people can make instead of buying.
Mayonnaise, you may think that its extremely unhealthy, and you´re right! supermarket mayonnaise is unhealthy, but the reason is: bad oils, chemicals and no fresh produces. What if I told you that you could make you own mayo, flavour it as you like and pack it in just about 4 minutes.

All you need is:
- A mixer
- egg yolks
- mustard
- groundnut oil (or any other oil you´d like the mayo to taste like)
- fresh lemon
- white wine vinegar
- salt, pepper and any spice you´d like to flavour it with! smoked paprika, basil, white pepper, moroccan spice, an endless list of things. Experiment and share!

Start up with 2-3 egg yolks and mustard in a mixer. When its properly liquified, add oil little by little until you get a pale yellow and firm mayonnaise. Add a tablespoon of sifted lemon juice, a teaspoon of vinegar and fresh spice, dried spice or no spice!
In Norway we have something called "riskli olje", a tasteless and relatively healthy oil (in contrary of sunflower or palm oil) that lets you choose flavouring for later. Peanut oil creates a peanut taste and quality olive oil, well you get the picture...
The mustard will still get it to taste absolutely fabulous! and the price? cheap I tell you. If, of course, you don´t make a fresh black truffle mayonnaise. In that case, very expensive!

Up next, mission sourdough!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Avocado fries & Brussel Sprouts

I usually use avocado in simple salads but I have never actually cooked it. In this recipe, I am making avocado fries, a recipe I got from this website. My girlfriend actually showed me the recipe from another blog, but the website linked is the one I used and the article is very funny and very well written.

I made long slices with the avocados and prepared 3 bowls as explained in the recipe. One with flour, one with egg yolk, and one with panko (mixed with salt and pepper). Then, you just need to deep the slices in the bowls following this order and in the oven at 200°c for about 15min until the panko is golden brown. I served the fries with a chili sauce. Delicious! Great recipe.

To continue the dinner in a good note, I cooked Brussel Sprouts with bacon. Cut the bacon in small pieces and toss it in a hot pan. When the bacon is cooked, take it off the pan, add butter to deglaze it and put the brussel sprouts (cut in half) in it. Cook them at medium heat until they are soft with a nice colour. When finished, just add the bacon and few pine nuts. Healthy and so good.

Enjoy! :-)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Healthy Scampi Taco

Good evening!

I guess just like me you had a lot to eat during the Christmas and New Year holidays. And these meals have the reputation to be the heaviest of all year, so for a lot of people the new year resolutions tend to be "more sport" and "healthier food".

If you want to stay fit in 2014, or your girlfriend does, here is a veeery simple dish but very tasteful. It can also be served as an appetizer for a full menu of course.

The Scampi and Mango Taco

First, drizzle olive oil in a hot pan and toss the scampis (just the meat, no shell/head/tail) and cook it until you obtain firm scampi with a nice color. While cooking the scampis, you can slice the mango into thin layers. You don't want more mango than scampi or it ill be too sweet. 
To add a crunch to your "taco", toss pine nuts in a hot pan and move them until you obtain a golden skin. Be very careful as it just takes few seconds and it can be burned very easily.

Then, dispose everything in a lettuce leaf, drizzle with soy sauce and lime juice. 

Enjoy your healthy taco! If you want more healthy recipes, just tell me in the comments. ;-)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Back to Blogging with a Roast Lamb

It has been way too long since my last post on this blog. I'm not quite sure why as my passion for cooking actually became stronger through 2013. I learned many new recipes, tasted a lot of new meals and had the time to cook everyday. But time and motivation for blogging was hard to find unfortunately.

It's a new year now, and in 2014 I want to take this blog back to life!

Here is a new recipe which can look a lot more complicated than it actually is : a roast lamb. I chose to accompany the lamb with a sweet potatoes purée and asparagus.

First, place the lamb in a hot pan and just cook it on each side for 40 seconds to give it a nice colour. Then place it in a plate with olive oil and dispose thin layers of garlic under the strings.

Place the plate in a preheated oven at 150°c for one hour / kilo (mine was 1,300kg so I left it for about 1 hour and 20 minutes). Once the lamb is cooked place it in foil for 20 minutes before slicing it. If you have a meat thermometer, the center should be at 70°c (or 65°c if you like it pink).

While the meat is cooking, you can prepare the purée. Just peal and slice the sweet potatoes and place them in boiling water with a pinch of salt. Cook it until you can easily cut through the potatoes. Add them into a mixer with few spoons of the water you cooked them in (which is now a stock) and about 15cl of liquid cream. Mix it all until you have a nice homogenous purée. You can add more stock and more cream if you want it a bit more liquid and soft.

For the asparagus, just toss them in a hot pan with olive oil. Move them a lot in the pan so they don't burn and at the end, add soy sauce in the hot pan. It works perfectly with the asparagus. 

For the sauce, I used the juice from the meat which I put in a pan to reduce with butter and few centiliters of red wine.

I hope you enjoy this first post of 2014! It feels good to be back here ;-)